The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Bringing a goat back to good health

Wet goats

We're making slow but sure progress with Edgar. Delousing was quite effective, with his fur finally starting to look less rough and scraggly. I suspect the kelp he's been scarfing like candy might also be implicated in his more healthful appearance.

Meanwhile, we were able to trim his hooves relatively easily (although it was a two-person job) and he's okay with a leash now Dwarf goat(although he gets scared every time I put one on). These are definitely moves in the right direction.

On the other hand, our little wether is still far from the health level I expect in my goats. He came with a slight cough, which is still present, and his manure has never come out in solid pellets the way it should. Both could be symptoms of various kinds of worms...or could be as simple as allergies and eating too much lush spring greenery.

Regardless, copper is next on my treatment regimen, and the fresh browse that is starting to fill most of his diet should help with general body tone. Maybe in another month, skittishness will be the only factor proving that Edgar wasn't always our goat.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Hi Anna and Mark,

A goat farmer I know has had good luck with kelp with her goats. Acres Dec 2012 had an article by the late Jerry Brunetti "Balanced Buffet" about his experience with making multiple free choice minerals (12) available to his livestock. Helfter has a 12 choice mineral kit and feeder for larger animals.

I wonder if you have ever done a 'real' soil test as in Logan Labs Agridyne III (or whatever it is really called) to look for low levels in micro and nano trace elements?

Around here (Concord, NH) our soil is VERY low in Mn, Co and Mo and if that isn't enough my hair trace minerals match our soil?? This puzzles me, but the data are quite clear. Perhaps adding granite dust to some of your soil will have a bigger than expected result? or maybe kelp or sea shells. They are cheap enough.

warm regards, John

Comment by John Tue Apr 18 10:14:33 2017
Glad little Edgar is responding to your interventions. :) Have you tried giving him treats as you walk with him on the lead? That way he knows the lead, leads to reward.
Comment by Chris Tue Apr 18 20:48:52 2017

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